USSA Concussion Policy
The USSA values the welfare of our skiing and snowboarding athletes. Concussion management of young athletes is an important issue for all of us. It is our responsibility as clubs, officials, coaches and parents to ensure that athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion or traumatic brain injury are managed carefully, and that a qualified health care provider clears their return to sport program.
USSA legal issues with concussion injuries
All USSA members and activities are bound by law to implement a concussion policy and concussion management protocol applying to minors (under age of 18).
USSA clubs operating in states other than Utah may also be subject to state law with different provisions than Utah. You can learn about the concussion laws in your state at http://nflhealthandsafety.com/zackery-lystedt-law/states/
USSA Concussion Policy
All USSA members, and their parents in the case of minors, are required to review and acknowledge the USSA Concussion Policy.
USSA Concussion Policy for Members
Any USSA athlete under the age of 18 years suspected of having sustained a concussion/ traumatic brain injury must be removed immediately from participation in USSA sporting event (e.g. sanctioned training, practice, camps, competitions or tryouts), by the Technical Delegate or USSA member coach overseeing such sporting event. The minor athlete will be prohibited from further participation until evaluated and cleared in writing to resume participation in USSA sporting events by a qualified health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussive head injuries. The health care professional must certify to USSA in the clearance letter that he/she has successfully completed a continuing education course in the evaluation and management of concussive head injuries within three years of the day on which the written statement is made.
Upon removal of a minor athlete from participation for a suspected concussion/traumatic brain injury, the USSA TD or member coach making the removal must inform USSA Competition Services. Athletes who have subsequently been medically cleared to resume participation must provide such medical clearance (as described above) to USSA Competition Services in order to be permitted to participate in USSA sporting events.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Doctors may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life threatening. Even so, their effects can be serious.
Risk of Continued Participation
A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first—usually within a short period of time (hours, days or weeks)—can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long- term problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in edema (brain swelling), permanent brain damage and even death.
The USSA recommends that Members review the Center for Disease Control’s resources on concussion awareness at
In summary and consistent with Utah House Bill 204 the USSA has:
Adopted a concussion policy.
Informed Parents/Guardians of the policy.
Obtained Parent/Guardian’s signature on the policy.
Required removal of minor athlete suspected of having sustained a concussion.
Prohibited minors from participating in all USSA activities until cleared by a qualified medical provider trained in concussion management.
USSA Concussion Action Plan
Remove the athlete from activity – training or competition, when suspected of having sustained a concussion or TBI.
Inform the athletes’ parents/guardian.
Allow the athlete to return to sport when cleared by a qualified medical provider trained in concussion management.
USSA Administrative Role
USSA Membership has created an online registration process to inform and capture necessary electronic signatures.
Competition Services will receive notifications from coaches/officials/clubs of suspected concussions.
Competition Services will place athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion on USSA membership “medical hold”.
Competition Services will remove an athlete from medical hold once they receive the USSA Concussion Medical Evaluation form signed by a licensed health care provider who is trained in the evaluation and management of a concussion and who has, within three years before the day on which the written statement is made, successfully completed a continuing education course in the evaluation and management of a concussion.